Speech: This is the moment, the opportunity, to finally call time on gender inequality
Opening remarks by UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous at the Generation Equality Midpoint Moment, United Nations Headquarters, New York, 17 September 2023.
We meet on the eve of the SDG Summit, seized by the challenges and the urgent imperatives to accelerate progress. Our latest research tells us that at the current rate of progress, more than 340 million women and girls will still live in extreme poverty by 2030, and close to one in four will experience moderate or severe food insecurity.
We need renewed energy, we need renewed commitment, and we need our will to change this trajectory. Generation Equality provides us with this opportunity.
All of us here today are Generation Equality.
We are Generation Equality because we are all feminists.
We are Generation Equality because we know that gender equality and SDG 5 are the greatest of enablers and that the dividends of equality are limitless.
We are Generation Equality because we believe in and model the power of multistakeholder partnerships.
We are Generation Equality because we know that our coalition must stretch from the global to the local and we aspire to connect the energy here in this room with the energy at grass roots level around the world.
We are Generation Equality, and we are at the heart of change.
At this Midpoint Moment we take stock, hold ourselves accountable, grow our movement, and energize ourselves and others, building on the achievements in Mexico City and Paris two years ago. We do so with pride. And our pride is based on evidence.
In just two years, youth, civil society, governments, private sector, and philanthropists have delivered unprecedented action. Collectively, Commitment Makers have already spent almost USD 10 billion on gender equality. Across the world they have already initiated or are implementing 849 policies, 2,306 programmes and 3,649 advocacy initiatives.
This is quite impressive.
In 2022, Compact signatories spent almost USD 1 billion on women, peace and security and humanitarian action, reaching 22.1 million women and girls. We should congratulate ourselves as we challenge ourselves to do more. Commitment Makers have reported a new total of USD 47 billion in financial commitments, with USD 20 billion already secured. And there is much more to come. And we thank you all for that.
Excellencies, partners, colleagues, friends, and fellow feminists,
This is the moment, the opportunity, to finally call time on gender inequality. This is when we say enough to pushback, enough to regression, enough to ongoing failures to invest and act.
We are disruptors. Our commitment is unwavering, the cause we work for, collectively, is undeniable.
I look forward to our time together here today.
And I thank you.